It was a glorious Friday afternoon. I so badly wished I’d been able to get to the surgery earlier so that I could bask in that golden late afternoon autumn sun. I parked my car on the side of the road adjacent to the building, collected my belongings, locked up and made my way toward my doctor’s surgery.
I stepped inside the green waiting room, announced my name and appointment time to the receptionist before being gestured to take a seat. I made my way towards the corner of the room, taking a seat beside the ottoman stacked with dated magazines. I placed my trusty diabetes case, keys, pocket wifi and pocket tissue pack down beside me, and settled in for the long wait.
I had the flu. I had copped the brunt of it the day prior and was feeling somewhat better, but decided to take advantage of a sick day and pay my doctor a visit for another matter that I’d been putting off for a while.
I buried my head into my phone – something I’ve actually been making a conscious effort to do less of lately – and caught up on some of the news in my feeds.
I did a quick scan of the room. After grouping people together, I figured that there were five or six people waiting to see the doctor late on that Friday. I continuously glanced through the sliding glass door, watching the sunlight disappear from the street corner as the darkness set in.
As I watched the clock slowly move past six and closer to six thirty, the wait wasn’t even particularly bothering me. I wasn’t even thinking about how lousy I felt anymore. I was beginning to feel plagued with sympathy over this hour of day that I was demanding my doctor.
I thought about what I would normally be doing at this time on a Friday. I’d probably be well caffeinated, sweetened, showered and in clean clothes, capping off another working week. I’d probably be sitting down to a nice dinner with my family after grocery shop day. Yet here was my doctor, who had probably started his work day at the same time as me, still shouting out patients names from down the hall before appearing at the reception desk.
My doc could have made his last appointment at 5 instead of 5.30. He could have allocated longer appointment times so that he didn’t fall behind schedule and might get home on time. But he didn’t.
Although he was understandably hurrying things along, my doctor didn’t complain once as he called me in and prepared for me what I had asked for. I was in and out in less than five minutes.
Our healthcare system is far from perfect. I’m the first person to complain about anything and everything. But this particular visit, at this particular hour of the day, came with a nice little lens that put things into a different perspective.
I’m certainly glad that there are people out there in the world, like my doctor, going above and beyond to help sick people get better.
(Although, as always some more resources to help people like my doc would always be greatly appreciated).